Home » The Life Of The Owner Of A British Car: COTD

The Life Of The Owner Of A British Car: COTD

Lucasprinceofdarkness2
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Recently, my mom asked me why I didn’t give my wife another car when her BMW 525iT decided to burn more oil than gasoline. Admittedly, I tried to, but my wife is smart. That BMW was a car I gave her, and her choices were another BMW, a Volkswagen, or a Smart. My wife has no time for a car to break down on her, so she chose to get a reliable Toyota rather than roll the dice on another one of my cars. So, I feel for owners of British cars when they talk about the problems they deal with.

This morning, Jason published a Cold Start that brought up the fun subject of cars with specs that match each other. The Citroën 2CV had a top speed of 56 mph and 56 imperial mpg fuel economy, presumably not at the same time. This led to a question of what other vehicles have matching numbers like these. We got a lot of fun suggestions, but Brent Ozar’s stands out. I sure hope this was a joke:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

My diesel Range Rover got about 25 mpg, and it spent an average of 25 days per month in the shop, so…

For a second nomination, let’s look at Lewin’s piece from yesterday about the chap who launches his boat from the bed of his pickup like a PT boat firing a torpedo. Hopefully, he limits his “yeets” to the boat, as DialMforMiata points out:

And this is why his friends never ask him to drop them off at the airport.

Finally, we land on one of David’s Takes, and it’s one all of us in the office agree with: Minivans are not uncool. They’re workhorses few appreciate.

Img 2619
Mercedes Streeter

Some guys may think minivans aren’t manly enough, but I think V10omous is onto something, here:

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I have never understood the minivan hate, at least among men.

There is no more tangible proof of masculinity than fathering enough descendants to fill a van.

Despite both being extremely male-coded, my F350 and Viper don’t actually prove anything about my virility, but my Sienna sure does.

Our resident V10-lover does have a point.
As you’ve probably seen already, I’m back! I enjoyed my little vacation and dream trip with my wife. We created so many memories and I even have some stories to tell. We couldn’t have asked for a better Valentine’s Day. Have a great evening, everyone.

(Topshot: )

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Sarah Blikre
Sarah Blikre
1 month ago

Just owning the minivan shows masculinity despite the number of tiny humans you’re responsible for. Buying the newest Ferd F-teen-Thousand does the opposite.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
1 month ago
Reply to  Sarah Blikre

Sexism. Solid take! Go back to Jalopnik where you belong.

Sarah Blikre
Sarah Blikre
1 month ago
Reply to  Xpumpx

What? It wasn’t meant to come off as sexist at all. Maybe the way I worded it was stupid but I was just agreeing with the content of the article.

Sarah Blikre
Sarah Blikre
1 month ago
Reply to  Xpumpx

Shit I didn’t even notice she mentioned she had an F350

Sarah Blikre
Sarah Blikre
1 month ago
Reply to  Xpumpx

god damnit I’m just digging myself into a bigger hole

Davey
Davey
1 month ago

Though I would argue that masculinity is not directly correlated to how many kids you can father (my entire employment exists because of all the people who have MANY kids who shouldn’t). But I like minivans, especially the caravans with the sto-&-go seating. As someone else has stated, they don’t need to be cool or manly; the coolest car to me right now is my CRV, which is more practical than my hatchback ever was and having the right tool for the job is cool. Whether that tool is used for hauling your family or carving up twisty roads; not every tool can be used for every job. Knowing that and staying within your financial / familial restraints is cool.

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
1 month ago

Yay! Welcome back, Mercy!

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago

Arguably older JLRs may be a decent deal as attrition has assured the survival of the fittest.

Not to mention that they’re given more than a once-over through the years by a mechanic, and parts, not influenced by factory constraints.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
1 month ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

In a bit of the universe’s cruel irony, Land Rovers using the Lucas GEMS engine management controller tend to be more reliable then later ones using Bosch Motronic engine controls. The GEMS microcontroller was simple and had built-in self-diagnostics, and most of the external sensors were all common parts easily obtainable at Autozone once you know the cross-compatible part numbers for what were usually GM parts. The Bosch Motronic system needed bespoke diagnostic devices and required its expensive Bosch sensors, which tended to fail more frequently.

Of course, Lucas probably farmed out the microcontroller logic design in their GEMS system to the same community of engineers that gave us the Sinclair and BBC Micro computers, and later on the ARM processor, so it might not be all that surprising. Britain did produce some excellent minds in the realm of computing. But it’s still just fundamentally funny that anything with the Lucas name was more reliable…

Brent Ozar
Brent Ozar
1 month ago

Woohoo, my first CoTD! But sadly no, that was not a joke. From the day I got it, it was hilariously unreliable, but thankfully covered under warranty.

First the computer wouldn’t allow the climate control fans to blow air. After weeks in the shop, they got a computer replacement, and then on the way home from the shop, the check engine light came on. The hydraulic engine mounts had failed, and that one took weeks as well, involving pulling the engine. After the 4th or 5th multi-week stay in the shop, I just sold it and moved on.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago

1) Re: the reliability of British makes – one of my favorite bumper stickers I’ve ever seen was on the back of a range Rover when I lived in portland, which was produced by a local British specialty mechanic. It featured the Union Jack on one side, and these words: “ALL PARTS FALLING OFF THIS VEHICLE ARE OF THE FINEST ENGLISH CRAFTSMANSHIP.”

2) Re: “virility” – Comedian Ritch Shydner had a great bit back in the day about not understanding why some men don’t want to be seen buying “feminine hygiene products” for their wives or girlfriends, it is proof positive that you have a woman at home. But starts at 3:40ish: https://youtu.be/r2sUQxQmCDA?si=abwZ3-SI_9mZW_zR

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 month ago

Minivans are an appliance.
Does the air work?
My refrigerator is cool.

El Chubbacabra
El Chubbacabra
1 month ago
Reply to  CSRoad

That looks almost like a haiku.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
1 month ago
Reply to  CSRoad

This is pretty much my take.

Something can be excellent at its job, but doesn’t have to be cool. Its not a binary system.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

But isn’t something that is excellent at it’s job automatically cool? I mean, if something sucks, it’s definitely uncool.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
1 month ago

Nope. Something that is 100% function is just that, functional. To be cool you have to have both form and function as well as an ineffable third trait.

White New Balance sneakers are excellent at their job of being sneakers for middle-aged dads, that doesn’t make them cool.

DadBod
DadBod
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

normcore is a thing, but only cool people get it

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
1 month ago

Honest question… What do you think is worse, average car from the jlr group or one from vag? I’ve only owned the latter once, briefly, and worked on about 5 that friends own and the “engineering” in those cars truly is something else (not in a good way), but have never touched anything British personally. Can they possibly be worse? Approach this question as the 3rd owner with 100k miles.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago

All I’ll say is I’m glad a friend of mine had a VW and a trailer nearby on the evening of the final day of the rally:

https://live.staticflickr.com/4409/36571530312_9dd4ea5573_c.jpg

Super Bonk 3000
Super Bonk 3000
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

What is that… thing on the trailer?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago

1982 Austin Allegro 3. Technically not the Jaguar Land Rover of the original question so much as Rover Group during one of several awkward renaming periods. The data plate says BL Cars which is more or less British Leyland.

FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Still, nice Allegro. It almost made it!

How slow was the Vanagon with a few thousand pounds behind it?

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago
Reply to  FuzzyPlushroom

A diesel Vanagon with twenty-four teenagers crammed into it?
48 hp
48 mpg
48 mph
4,800 lbs
48 very worried parents

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago
Reply to  FuzzyPlushroom

He made better time with that setup than I had been making with just the Allegro. The twisty sections of road were… memorable.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Dang, the coolness of that setup is off the charts! (All the dissing that those Austin Allegros got, notwithstanding. Those Allegros, despite having perhaps more than their share of troubles, are indeed ineffably cool.) What engine did that Vanagon have? Gas, diesel, stock, tuned, or Subaru?

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago

Good point. I should probably ask him about that engine.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 month ago

That really depends. Newer Jags are quite reliable. It’s the older ones that will give you fits. Whereas newer VWs are less reliable than older ones. And Beetles are cockroaches. Even though cockroches aren’t taxonomically beetles. Just beware VW diesels or Jag V12s and you’ll probably be alright.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

Some folks prefer a thousand dollar bag with a couple hundred dollars in it.
Others prefer a hundred dollar bag with a couple thousand dollars in it.

It’s up to you.
There’s no wrong answer when it comes to cars.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

I like that. I’ve had $100 in the pocket of $8 thrift store jeans plenty of times. Never tried it the other way around.

well, thermal Carharts aside—but that’s different: that is investment towards staying as fresh rather than frozen meat

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

I DD a 2000 (NUMI factory) Chevy Prizm wearing Red Wing boots.
It’s a funny juxtaposition.
Priorities…

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 month ago

Yup…
Me Ole Prizm wears Red Wing boots.
(I’ve lost control of my capacity for proper punctuation)

Guess I shouldn’t be commenting anymore then eh…

Last edited 1 month ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
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